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The Conrad Press

Marko

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Dear Fellow Litopians
Has anybody come across, or used, The Conrad Press (https://theconradpress.com)? They are a 'hybrid-publisher' (similar in their business-model to The Matador Press), run by James Essinger, who is himself a prolific published writer. After nearly exhausting the literary agent market without success, my choice now seems to be between self-publishing , or using someone like The Conrad Press. I'm rather daunted by the prospect of doing everything myself and from what I've seen TCP would provide a high quality book distributed through Clays/Gardeners and electronically via the ebookpartnership. The costs (for type-setting, cover design, printing etc) seem to be reasonable from the research I have done. I know that TCP will not be doing a full marketing job for me and understand that it will be a challenge to even earn back my initial outlay. I do, however want to make sure that there are no horror stories out there. Also, if anyone has had a good or bad experience with similar companies. There is a fine line, of course between 'hybrid' and 'vanity' publishers, but I do believe, from the discussions that I have had with them to date, that TCP are the right side of the line .
Many thanks
Marko
 

CageSage

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If you do go with them, it would be interesting to get the goss here about the experience.
 

Hannah F

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Looking at their website, I think they are a vanity press. They promise to get you published within 3 months (how can they promise that without even seeing your work?) You need to fork out £500 just to be looked at. Editing services are on top of that. You will need to buy 300 or 500 copies of your own book. I'd steer clear. Check out the Writers Beware website for the difference between vanities posing as hybrids and proper hybrids.
 

Katie-Ellen

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I wouldn't, myself. Publishers should include editing as standard.

"The Conrad press provides a great service for both new and experienced authors. The services include publication and, if the author requires it, editing. The books are published with great cover, the art work is highly professional and relevant. The 'turn around' time from when the work is received by The Conrad Press up until it is published is realistic and timely. The books are also made available on Amazon, a short time after publication. I think that the Conrad Press gives an excellent service. It provides a chance for new, and 'up- and- coming' authors to achieve publication, despite the fact that the publishing world is so highly competitive, as it is often difficult to get books published with some of the larger publishing companies."
 

Marko

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Looking at their website, I think they are a vanity press. They promise to get you published within 3 months (how can they promise that without even seeing your work?) You need to fork out £500 just to be looked at. Editing services are on top of that. You will need to buy 300 or 500 copies of your own book. I'd steer clear. Check out the Writers Beware website for the difference between vanities posing as hybrids and proper hybrids.
Hi Hannah
You don't need to pay £500 to get looked at. They reviewed my first 3 Chapters and Synopsis last month, then came back a few days later, saying they liked it and asking to see a full submission. They took a week to look at this and came back with a small number of editorial suggestions and then, after a couple of phone calls an offer to publish. If I want to go ahead I will need to pay the £500 deposit, which would secure me a publishing slot for March. The balance (another £500 for a book of up to 90K words) would then need to be paid when they start doing the cover design, typography, etc. The contract for the printing is direct with Clays at c£2.00 per book for a small run.
regards
Marko
 

Barbara

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Hmmmm, £500 'deposit to secure a slot'. To secure a slot? Then more later? Hmmmm. If they're confident that your book will sell, why don't they foot the bill for cover design etc?

I don't like the sound of it, to be honest.

@AgentPete? Maybe you have some thoughts on this.
 
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RG Worsey

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Hi Hannah
You don't need to pay £500 to get looked at. They reviewed my first 3 Chapters and Synopsis last month, then came back a few days later, saying they liked it and asking to see a full submission. They took a week to look at this and came back with a small number of editorial suggestions and then, after a couple of phone calls an offer to publish. If I want to go ahead I will need to pay the £500 deposit, which would secure me a publishing slot for March. The balance (another £500 for a book of up to 90K words) would then need to be paid when they start doing the cover design, typography, etc. The contract for the printing is direct with Clays at c£2.00 per book for a small run.
regards
Marko
I don't mean to be argumentative, though it seems as if you have already made up your mind to go with this company.

You refer to "an offer to publish", though they want £1,000 of your money, plus £2 per printed book. You'd have to sell a whopping number of books just to break even. Are they going to give you hundreds of pounds worth of marketing, or do they expect you to sort that? I completely fail to see how this is good value for money.
 

Hannah F

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They mention a print run of 300 books. That's another £600 plus 300 books you will have to shift yourself. Vanity publishers often overprice the books on amazon, making it even harder to sell them. Have you checked any that they have published for quality and price?

These are great sales people of them to you (not your books to buyers). Don't get taken in by their sweet-talk. They are very good at reeling people in.
 

Hannah F

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Here is a link to Alliance of Independent Authors recommended and definitely not recommended companies (yours is not on the list so hasn't been vetted by them). I'd advise you to pick one of the companies (highlighted green) that offers publishing packages. At least you know they have been vetted and proved their worth.
 

RG Worsey

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These are great sales people of them to you (not your books to buyers). Don't get taken in by their sweet-talk. They are very good at reeling people in.
Also, bear in mind that if they already have £1,000 of your money and you have paid for the print run, they have no incentive to make sure the book sells. Why should they spend time and money advertising it, when everything has been paid for and you are the one storing the boxes at your house?
 

AgentPete

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@Marko They seem to exist in that grey area somewhere between outright vanity press (i.e. rip-off) and small digital publisher.
Key question to ask is, what can they bring to the table?
Er, you have to pay them?
Avoid.

PS this sort of discussion is best done in The Back Room, it’s easier for people to express themselves freely there. Unlike Cafe Life, The Back Room is not indexed by search engines.
 

E G Logan

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Oh, Marko. I know how seductive those words: "I want to publish your book" can be.

In my case it led to a long and, ultimately, bitterly disappointing experience – even though the company involved was major and legit, just hopelessly disorganised.

Step back, pause. Then read this whole thread again – there is some excellent advice here. Even if seems sour rather than sweet.
 
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